WHITEWOOD | Darwin "Hank" Kurtz, 71, lost his battle with cancer on Feb. 5, 2018. After a brief but fierce fight, he passed away in the hospice unit at the VA hospital at Ft. Meade.

Hank was born Feb. 26, 1946, to Darrel and Cora (Jensen) Kurtz in Groton, SD. He attended elementary and junior high school at Joan of Arc school, a half-mile from the family farm and graduated from Groton High School in 1965.

He joined the U.S. Air Force after high school and served as a flight crewman for medical evacuations during the Vietnam War. While stationed at McCord AFB in Tacoma, WA, he met the love of his life, Joyce, and they spent 49 years in marriage until his death.

They moved back to Groton, SD, where he worked on the family farm until 1974, when he enrolled in the Denver Automotive and Diesel School studying diesel mechanics. After completing his degree, he returned to SD and worked as construction and feedlot foreman for Delzer Construction in Spearfish. Hank opened D.G. Kurtz Trucking and ran his company for many years. In addition to over the road trucking, he loved to help family and friends doing any projects and building things. He spent many hours working with his children and grandchildren sharing his skills and knowledge. He was completely devoted to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Joyce; children, Laura (Dennie) Clausen, Everett, WA, Deb (Ted) Bartunek, Rapid City, and Bill (Jen) Kurtz, Chamberlain; grandchildren, Adria (Dale) Gohman, St Cloud, MN, Megan (Justin) Long, Red Owl, Andrew Aker, Fort Benning, GA, Trevor Bartunek, Phoenix, AZ, Austin Bartunek, Rapid City, and Autumn and Ainsley Kurtz, Chamberlain; great-grandchildren, Jerika, Keaton, and Tavin Gohman, and Lexi, Leigh, Drew, and Dawson Long; sisters and brothers, Karon Kurtz and Duane Kurtz of Aberdeen, Shirley Simon, Yuma, AZ, Lois (Victor) Schwahn, San Jacinto, CA, Connie Olson, Rapid City, and Dennis (Sue) Kurtz, Claremore, OK; one aunt, Abbie Jensen, Spearfish; and numerous nieces and nephews across the country.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Myrtle.

Services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, followed by interment at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the VA Quilting Auxiliary at Fort Meade.

Condolences may be sent to the family at kinkadefunerals.com.